March 9, 2006 Subject:
Still happens today
This is an 1950's excellent film. It is well produced, filmed and written. Unfortunately, this problem still happens today. When inadequate funds are given to education, classes get larger and many non required subjects and cultural activities are dropped. Structural improvements are put on hold, causing building to deteriorate. I have also seen many school building enlarged without any esthetic quality-making the school become a maze of classrooms. I suppose that is still better than teaching in a damp boys locker room as I did for many years. The room was gradually improved to semi decent standards over a period more than of twenty-five years!
February 1, 2005 Subject:
"Don't change the subject Child!"
Extremely depressing story about Mrs Roberts, a wonderful k-6 teacher about to resign because of the ever increasing size of her classroom. We follow the story of her class, about how it used to be able to be broken up into little groups for more attentive instruction, But then a factory is built, and the town population explodes. As does the size of the classroom. The film then tells a nice aside story of Cathy and her reading difficulties. Her horrid Aunt (who Cathy seems to despise) and her horridly-acting Mom (who has just one facial expression throughout the whole movie) try to get rid of Miss Roberts for not doing her job correctly because Cathy is not getting the attention she needs! But Cathy's Mom learns, as we all do, and still learning, why the school system is burdened. Check out the scene with Cathy's Mom and the school board trustee with um, a cat on his lap. Well acted (except by a few adults), good structure.. This is a MUST SEE on this site!!
January 23, 2005 Subject:
talk about a flashback
This film is historically potent. That little time space moment, along with the outer limits (OK, I wonÂt mention any CIA programs here). what wonderful luck. IÂd like to propose a toast to our favorite Miss Roberts.
January 22, 2005 Subject:
Miss Roberts, Can I Read My Movie Report Now?
This 50s film exposes the problem of school overcrowding during the baby boom and how it makes it hard for teachers to teach effectively. An elementary school teacher labors over her letter of resignation after a school year in which her class size doubled, causing her to have to get rid of the piano, the class library, and tables containing class projects in order to make room for more desks, and to neglect the individual needs of her students. One little girl, Kathy, has trouble with reading, and after her incredibly bitchy and intrusive aunt complains to her single mother, the mother gets all up in arms and meets with the school principal to try to get the teacher fired. But the principal asks her to take a tour of the school before judging, and this gives her a chance to see classes being held in hallways, the school library, the auditorium, a Quonset hut, and even the boiler room in the basement! This gives her a pretty clear idea of why KathyÂs teacher has no time for her. Unfortunately, but perhaps more realistically, the film offers no solutions for this, other than perhaps getting parents more involved, but it even acknowledged that parents have lots of demands on their time already. This message of this film is still relevant today, and its still a difficult problem to solve, making this one of the more realistic of the public service films from this period. However, I canÂt help but think in KathyÂs case that things would improve quite a bit if her mother would tell her aunt to shut up.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***, Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
October 3, 2004 Subject:
Too Many Kids
Louise Roberts contemplates leaving teaching because her class size has grown out of control. And whose fault is it? ItÂs those children of the postwar baby boom! ThereÂs just too many of them and the school is running out of space. Now years later, we boomers can see how we overwhelmed our teachers. This film was made by the NEA to make sure that teachers didnÂt have to take all the blame for the poor instruction the children received because they were at overcrowded schools. The film uses the fact that the teachers have to do hall and lunchroom duty as a reason why they donÂt have time to give to individual students. TeacherÂs unions still complain about this.
One student Kathy, is the child of a widowed mother who works at a bank. SheÂs concerned because Kathy has trouble reading. In those days, they didnÂt mince their words about childrenÂs abilities. ThereÂs Joey whoÂs bright, Benjy whoÂs quiet and Kathy whoÂs Âslow.Â ItÂs interesting that the film chose a single, working mother as the featured parentÂparents like her werenÂt even supposed to exist in the fifties, although there were probably plenty of women whose husbands had died in the war raising kids alone. Outside of suggesting that parentÂs become more involved, the film doesnÂt have any answers. Now that we boomers are parents ourselves, weÂre still dealing with the same problems as Louise and KathyÂs mom.